What is acid reflux testing?

Acid reflux testing refers to a series of diagnostic procedures used to determine the presence of acid reflux and assess its severity. These tests are critical for distinguishing GERD from other conditions with similar symptoms and for guiding treatment decisions.

Types of acid reflux tests

Several tests can be used to diagnose acid reflux:

  • Esophageal pH monitoring: A test that measures the pH level in the esophagus to determine how often and for how long stomach acid regurgitates into the esophagus.
  • Esophageal manometry: This test measures the rhythmic muscle contractions of the esophagus when swallowing, the coordination and force exerted by the esophageal muscles, and the function of the lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Endoscopy: A procedure where a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera (endoscope) is inserted through the mouth to view the esophagus and stomach lining for signs of irritation, inflammation, or damage caused by stomach acid.
  • Barium swallow radiograph: Patients drink a barium-containing liquid that coats the upper gastrointestinal tract and allows clear X-ray images to identify abnormalities.
  • Impedance monitoring: This measures the movement of substances in the esophagus, which, combined with pH monitoring, provides a more complete picture of reflux.
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What is an acid reflux test like to experience?

Acid reflux testing varies in the experience:

  • pH monitoring: A small tube is inserted through the nose into the esophagus, or a pH capsule might be attached to the esophagus lining, both of which are usually well-tolerated.
  • Manometry: Patients may experience slight discomfort when the manometry catheter is passed through the nose into the esophagus.
  • Endoscopy: It's performed under sedation to ensure comfort, with patients generally feeling nothing during the procedure.
  • Barium swallow: The barium drink may have a chalky taste, but the test itself is painless.
  • Impedance monitoring: Similar to pH monitoring, with minimal discomfort.

Who is a candidate for acid reflux testing?

Candidates for acid reflux testing typically exhibit symptoms like chronic heartburn, regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, persistent cough, or throat irritation. Testing is also recommended for those who do not respond to initial treatment measures, those with potential complications from GERD, or prior to anti-reflux surgery.

What are the symptoms that warrant acid reflux testing?

Symptoms indicating the need for acid reflux testing include:

  • Persistent heartburn and indigestion.
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid.
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).
  • Chronic cough or asthma symptoms.
  • Laryngitis or voice changes.
  • New or worsening chest pain, which could be a sign of a heart problem or esophageal disease.
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Why choose us?

When it comes to managing the complexities of acid reflux, the choice of healthcare provider makes a significant difference. Louisiana ENT stands out as a premier destination for acid reflux testing and treatment, serving the Louisiana community with distinction for over 45 years. Our expansive network, which spans six strategic locations, is continually growing to meet the increasing healthcare needs of our patients.

At Louisiana ENT, we take pride in our team, comprising over 25 dedicated physicians and specialists who are board-certified and fellowship-trained and share a common vision of delivering world-class medical and surgical care. Our specialists are adept in all ENT-related disciplines, ensuring that every aspect of ear, nose, throat, and respiratory care is covered with the utmost expertise under one roof.

Our approach to healthcare is deeply rooted in a patient-first philosophy. We take the time to listen and understand each patient's individual health concerns. This personalized care is the cornerstone of our practice, allowing us to tailor treatments that offer long-term relief and well-being. We believe in empowering our patients through education, ensuring they are well-informed and involved in every step of their healthcare journey.

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Your experience matters to us

The warmth of our bedside manner reflects the nurturing, family-like culture that Louisiana ENT has cultivated over the years. We believe that true healing begins with genuine care and a collaborative patient-physician relationship aimed at achieving superior outcomes. Our commitment to timely and compassionate care is unwavering, as we strive to accommodate our patients promptly and with the sensitivity they deserve.

With 6 convenient locations around the Louisiana area, we're never far away.

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